OK School Drops Hobby Lobby Bible Curriculum

Here’s some good news for a change. That Oklahoma school district that had been the first to approve teaching a Bible course using a curriculum developed by Steve Green of Hobby Lobby, who openly said that the goal was to convert kids to Christianity, has now changed their mind and canceled the course.

An Oklahoma school district has decided not to implement a Bible curriculum designed by Steve Green, owner of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores, that critics said was biased in favor of fundamentalist Christianity.

Earlier this year, Americans United warned Mustang Public Schools officials that the curriculum was problematic and its use in schools might spark litigation…

Yesterday attorneys with Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a joint freedom-of-information request with the Mustang schools, requesting various documents relating to the school board’s involvement with the curriculum. In response, the groups received an email from Superintendent Sean McDaniel reporting that the class has been cancelled.

“In summary, the topic of a Bible course in the Mustang School District is no longer a discussion item nor is there a plan to provide such a course in the foreseeable future,” McDaniel wrote. “All students who were pre-enrolled in the elective had their schedules changed to a Humanities course or they were afforded the opportunity to select another elective.”

McDaniel added that the district was supposed to have had an opportunity to review the final curriculum, but this did not happen. He also noted that the district had requested that Hobby Lobby agree to pay its legal expenses in the event of a lawsuit. Green refused, so the district decided to drop the proposed class.

So they told them not to worry, that the course is completely constitutional, but wouldn’t put their money where their mouth is. What a shock.

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  • John Pieret

    So they told them not to worry, that the course is completely constitutional, but wouldn’t put their money where their mouth is. What a shock.

    The shock might be that Green was so rational about the issue, especially after his big win in the Supreme Court.

  • anubisprime

    He also noted that the district had requested that Hobby Lobby agree to pay its legal expenses in the event of a lawsuit. Green refused, so the district decided to drop the proposed class.

    So in summary…It did not matter a toss if the final curriculum had been presented for the board to peruse….it did not really matter that the subject matter was biased towards only Christianity…it mattered even less that students had already signed up for the course!

    What mattered was having to reveal who on the board was involved in the Hobby Lobby scam, who backed and why…and the kicker being that they knew it was likely to incur legal challenge anyway….they knew that and they were still prepared to forge ahead with it but only if Hobby Lobby picked up the legal fee tab…

    Hobby Lobby told them to go fuck themselves and the board decided to err on the pragmatic side of life.

    It also tells us one other thing…Hobby Lobby knew that any school board would lose a court case if challenged on Hobby Lobby material.

    It reveals one other tasty little morsel of gossip…

    Seems their combined faith in jeebus and his dead end, waste of space, layabout dad, is not as deep as they pretend it is!

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    What these ignorami forget is that it was Christians who got Bible readings and sponsored prayer pulled from public schools, because they were using the wrong Bibles and wrong forms of prayer.

  • raven

    That bible course was really a fundie xian bible course version. Moderate xians and Catholics wouldn’t like it much. (Assuming there are enough moderate xians and Catholics in Oklahoma to matter.).

    The shock is that a school district in Oklahoma did something rational. Usually they will fight to the last taxpayer dollar and worry about the kids…never.

    Oh well, there is always next year and the next xian territorial marking event. Ten commandments in the hallway, tar and feathering the biology teacher, pictures of jesus crowning St. Reagan and St. Rand, it never ends.

  • vhutchison

    Opposition to the proposed Mustang Bible ‘curriculum’ was opposed by Oklahoma activists. For example, separation of church and state activist Jim Huff, a retired public school teacher, went to the Mustang school office and examined the DRAFT of the proposed courses. Huff was also a participant in a law suit against the placement of a ten commandments monument on the State Capitol grounds; the case is now before the State Supreme Court. Huff found many problems and then scheduled a public hearing at the Mustang Public Library and hoped that school administrators and local citizens would attend. Only three local citizens showed up; one of them was a local newspaper reporter. About a dozen others in attendance were church and state separation supporters. I attended and found that the Bible courses were inaccurate in many details and highly proselytizing. Green is likely to continue to push his religiosity in public schools and he plans a Bible museum near the national mall in Washington. These are good reasons, among others, not to patronize Green’s stores.

  • garnetstar

    My friend who took a job in Oklahoma said that the relentless proselytizing in his 6-year-old’s first grade class got to be too much, even for her. They moved to the nearest large town and put her into Montessori school (and I gave her Dawkins’ “The Magic of Reality” as a birthday present.)

    This is a real thing in OK public schools, downright evangelizing at every level. I doubt that their not adopting a curriculum that openy admits that will change anything.

    And, my friends are moving out of state as soon as they can: it’s the classic case of high-tech eductated workers who don’t want their kids brought up like that fleeing the state and slowing down its economy.

  • whheydt

    Now is the time to renew to FOIA request…expanding it to include the newly revealed data: The request to Green for financial cover and documents on the decision to drop the course. Even without a suit, the FOIA action may very well be important and provide the “smoking gun” in case another district tries something similar.

  • vhutchison

    I agree with whheydt. I have seen an exchange of messages between the Mustang Superintendent and it is clear that the Supt. was a major proponent and supporter of the Bible courses. He is a far-right fundamentalist that could continue his efforts to push his religiosity on students. Fortunately, there are several organizations that are trying to keep such crap out of Oklahoma public schools and that oppose continued legislative attempts to place religion (e.g., creationism) into public schools.

  • lorn

    I fully expect that certain teachers will still use the curriculum on the sly. The administrators will be sure to be ‘shocked, shocked I tell you’ that anyone would be committing evangelism in the name of education. Any teachers will be fired after a long and needlessly drawn out administrative and legal proceeding. No worries for them as they will all find prosperity on the Christian martyrs public appearance and book circuit.